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AuctionBytes Blog
Covering auctions, collectibles and marketplace selling.

AuctionBytes Blog The AuctionBytes Blog has been giving a voice to online merchants since its launch in 2005. Named one of the world's top 30 blogs in 2008 by "Blogging Heroes." Weigh in with your thoughts on the joys and pitfalls of selling online.
Tue Jan 29 2008 07:57:17

Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay

By: David Steiner
Sponsored Link

Feedback on eBay certainly has taken a few left turns since Pierre's initial concept that allowed trading partners to rate each other. In probably the most dramatic deviation, Sellers will no longer be allowed to leave Negative or Neutral feedback for Buyers. There are some other changes, which can be found here: http://pages.ebay.com/services/forum/new.html but this is the most interesting paragraph:

What changes are being made to the eBay Feedback system?

There are five key elements to the new Feedback system being introduced in the first half of 2008:

   1. Beginning in February, buyers and sellers will be able to earn up to one Feedback per week from the same trading partner. Today, members may only affect each other's Feedback scores one time, regardless of the number of transactions between the parties. This change will both encourage repeat transactions and reward good service.
   2. Sellers will no longer be able to leave negative or neutral Feedback for buyers. This change will occur in May, 2008.
   3. Removal of negative and neutral Feedback left by members who are suspended or who fail to respond to the Unpaid Item Process (UPI).
   4. Positive Feedback percentage will be based on the past 12 months of Feedback, rather than lifetime, since it is most indicative of the seller's recent performance.
   5. Restrictions on when Feedback can be left:
          * Buyers must wait three days before leaving negative or neutral Feedback
          * Instead of 90 days, members will be able to leave Feedback for 60 days

----

We'll be speaking with John Donohoe later today, so if you have any specific questions, post them here before noon, and we'll try to incorporate the best ones in our interview.

Call 1-877-222-0856 and leave a 60 second message about what you think of these changes.

 

 


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Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Another unimportant seller
       
Thu Jan 31 07:27:23 2008
EBay is forgetting that it is the sellers who support eBay--eBay is like a blank newspaper or bulletin board that the sellers rent space on. If it becomes too unfriendly, sellers will find other avenues for selling--they'll have to. Buyers buy, but don't pay listing or final value fees, or any of the PayPal fees that eBay also charges. Selling on eBay is becoming increasingly stressful--this feedback change is not going to change seller behavior--but it will lead to frivolous negative feedback being left, without any recourse available to the sellers except the block. And to beat the block--the buyers just create second accounts or buy through friends and relatives.
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: T. Ware
       
Thu Jan 31 07:44:16 2008
eBay are making a big mistake here. Sellers will receive massive amounts of negative, buyers will be put off and eBay profits will be down.
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: barbara
       
Thu Jan 31 07:48:02 2008
also for all you large volume sellers we have just been told in uk that all your status feedback dsr are going to be worked out on a 30 day basis so a competitor will be able to wreck your status fairly easily by blitzing you in any 1 month period.
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Waldo
       
Thu Jan 31 07:54:59 2008
Pierre Omidyar and ebay management haven’t had anything to be proud of in a long time. They are creating a stench their billions cannot wash off.  

The opportunity to gain the respect an adoration of the world eroded by greed into disgust and wrathful anger of millions of users. A virus created by their own policies is sweeping through the ebay community at an astounding rate. When you consider omidyars 1st web page was on the EBOLA virus(almost ryhmes with ebay don’t it) one might say it is poetic justice, an ironic fate created by their own conduct.

Ebay can only see money. Assets and liabilities. Negative feedback, paypal complaints, problem buyers all are revenue generating  assets to ebay. Things to be encouraged and nurtured at ebay.

You have heard the old saying you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Ebay is feeding its worst users honey and it most honest reputable users vinegar.

When the money runs out and ebay can see clearly they are going to find themselves sinking in the cesspool of the internet, Rampant fraud and dishonest buyers and sellers will be the only things afloat.
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: angry seller
       
Thu Jan 31 07:58:51 2008
these changes are the most ridiculous yet.  sellers already cannot comment on anonymous feedback.  now we cannot leave honest feedback for non paying bidders.  open season for unscrupulous buyers to hold sellers hostage.  thanks a lot ebay
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: disgruntled
       
Thu Jan 31 08:16:09 2008
if ebay is worried about less listing, why not try to do something positive for sellers for a change.  every change they've made over the past 10 years has been negative for sellers.  perhaps they forgot what made them so successful - that is was a LEVEL playing field... now it is NOT.

i have been buying and selling on ebay since 1998. my sales have diminished from selling almost 80% of my listing to less than 10% in any given period.  my only negative fb is from non paying bidders.  where is my incentive  to list.  
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Big C
       
Thu Jan 31 08:55:25 2008
If Sellers Boycott feebay Feb 18- Feb 25- they should all buy items from sellers who are listing during the boycott and leave them NEGATIVE feedbacks.
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Tina
       
Thu Jan 31 09:04:34 2008
I always avoid driving through construction. I left eBay last year because of the never ending "improvements". It really doesn't matter what changes they make, there are just TOO MANY CHANGES! Sellers need a stable venue. Get out of the construction people, find another way. Oh, and dump your eBay stock too, why invest in something so volatile and unstable?
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Amanda
       
Thu Jan 31 09:07:37 2008
"If Sellers Boycott feebay Feb 18- Feb 25- they should all buy items from sellers who are listing during the boycott and leave them NEGATIVE feedbacks."

No they shouldn't. Sellers have as much right to not boycott as to boycott; that is their choice. There may be any number of reasons for a seller not joining a boycott; they might not use these forums and hence will not know about it; they may not agree with such tactics; or they simply might not be able to afford the loss of revenue; whatever the reason, it is up to them.

And leaving negative feedback for any reason which is not an actual justified reason relating to the transaction is simply wrong, and is also against eBay rules.

You can't on the one hand complain that buyers will soon be free to leave unfair feedbacks, whilst on the other hand childishly encourage people to do just that to perfectly innocent sellers.

It is people like you that have driven eBay to introduce these measures in the first place, in a misguided attempt to stop such behaviour.

Grow up.
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Gosquo
       
Thu Jan 31 09:08:28 2008
If we can't leave negative feedback we can still rate buyers with:
A++++
A----
B+
B-
C+
C-
D for deadbeat
and all of this in the positive feedback line.
Could be fun?
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: charlie.foxtrot
       
Thu Jan 31 09:32:51 2008
Other than eBay... what VIABLE alternatives are there for small sellers?
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: JoeJoeJoe
       
Thu Jan 31 10:38:54 2008
Even more angering is that the higher-ups in ebay are just looking down their nose, laughing at us -- probably amused -- because they're sure that in the end we will all just bend over and take it up the rear, as usual.

In one interview, apparently one of the eBay drones dismissed our protests by saying that ebay sellers are a ''vocal and passionate bunch''.

It feels as though they are looking down on us from a great height, smirking, patting us on the heads and saying ''oh you dumb, dumb little sellers -- do you really think anything you are doing is going to change things?''

IF WE DO WANT TO HAVE ANY EFFECT ON EBAY IT HAS TO BE THROUGH THEIR STOCKHOLDERS. THAT is where all of ebay's power comes from. Unless we can hit them where it hurts, NOTHING is going to change.
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: RK
       
Thu Jan 31 10:57:14 2008
Looks like this blog will soon be buried. We need to keep bombarding the newsgroups.

Donahue had the audacity to say that sellers are only making ''Noise'' so you see boys and girls he's not taking us seriously.

(Ming) ebays ''Hoe'' (well deserved title by the way) thinks that we are nothing more then dirt under his feet. I am out to prove I will be more then dirt under...I am going to be on top of his shoes.

Anyone that doesn't understand ''Hoe'' check the urban dictionary.

Appears to me that there are a lot of trolls and scammers posting. Not all buyers can be that idiotic. If you are a seller and buy on your sellers ID. I doubt (hope) that you are not that stupid. I wish I could say that I've never had a problem with a purchase. There's always the possibility and not to say that there aren't any bad sellers. But, I sure in the hell don't need a star system to hit me in the head. If you can't read the feedback or see the number of negs. a seller has and not bid...how in the hell can you interpret the star system?

These buyers that are blanketing all sellers....Don't buy on ebay. What do you need..a 2x4 to hit you over the head? Sounds more like you are the problem.

Think about this: How many of ebays average buyers are aware of auctionbytes?

Buyer/Sellers...yes.  

Does ebay have professional buyers? I don't think so.

Scammers...YES!! What better opporunity is there for scammers or trolls then to monitor and input on these blogs.

Do you think the average buyer that has had one or possibly two bad transactions is going to pound these boards...I don't think so! They just wouldn't buy on ebay again. But, the scammers will.

What better way to figure out how to rip off a seller and do damage to a reputation...''READ THESE BOARDS'' Their loving it! Doesn't take a crystal ball to see what the future will be...these scammers new and old are getting primed and prepped.

There would not be half the problems on ebay if they would have left the feedback system alone.

The star system is inadequate and far from accurate.  

When buyers that can't / don't read the feedback comments (w/o stars) and comprehend (in order to make a decision to buy or not)...do ya think they read or comprehend the listing description?

It's pathetic that ebay encourages buyer disatisfaction and seller hostility.

FOR WHAT? Denial!!! It's about time that ebay takes responsibility for their piss poor management and policies that have been put into effect by Blunder Woman (Meg) and Boy Wonder (Bill) since they arrived.
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Polly
       
Thu Jan 31 11:30:19 2008

EBAY'S OLD MARKETING SLOGAN STILL HOLDS TRUE!


IF IT'S...

greed
abuse
fraud
thievery
credit card chargebacks
poor management
no customer service
laughable ''HELP'' system
red tape
excessive fees
unnecessary changes
unstable platform
and an all-around unfair trading environment


...then yes, YOU CAN FIND IT ON EBAY.
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Amanda
       
Thu Jan 31 11:31:20 2008
"I also anticipate many sellers negging many buyers no matter what now. get em now while you still can. Any lttle thing will get a buyer a negative and then block them."

What a ludicrous statement! No decent, honest seller would EVER do that; and such an unfair, petty, childish, and not to mention wholly unprofessional, notion probably would never even have entered their head as a possiblity.

The kind of sellers who would be likely to do that are EXACTLY the kind of sellers eBay is trying to get rid of (but going about it entirely the wrong way).

It is also somewhat disturbing that you even thought of it Alex; it makes me wonder if you have any integrity at all.
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Jerry
       
Thu Jan 31 11:43:48 2008
I am a Power Seller with 100% feedback.  My lowest DSR is 4.9.  I qualify for the 15% FVF discount.  Yet I am completely opposed to these changes.

eBay management, the ''Wonder Suits,'' genuinely believe that both sellers and buyers want perpetual change in the seller/buyer platform.  When they recently announced that they would be making more changes in the next few months than were made in the past two years, it was with pride and a pat on their own backs.

I have stated this before on AuctionBytes, and I will say it again.  While I embrace change, it also costs me time and money to have to relearn and readjust my selling practices every few months.  eBay truly does not understand that just by making changes, they cost all of us money.  And they do it time and time again.  Now they have increased fees for most sellers under the banner of lowering fees, as though our knuckles are too hairy to punch keys on a calculator and figure it all out.

Buyers, too, want a stable platform.  Much of the time they are confused.  The ebay site is much too complex and bidders get lost (I once accidentally followed a link to an eBay Express item and there was no way back to auctions, literally no way back).

Some time ago, a blogger here suggested that auctions, BIN and Stores be completely separated, that on the Home Page there could be three portals or doors to direct people to the area they wanted to go to.  If you want to make the buying experience better, do something like that (EBAY:CALL YOUR OFFICE).

There can be no question that eBay management is abysmal.  When Meg and Bill both resign at the same time, a time when such drastic changes are being made, this is a clear indication that all is not well at eBay.  Meg and Bill bailed because it was time to get out while they could still salvage their reputations.

Some time ago, I announced on one of these threads that I would be leaving eBay.  I have found another venue for my books and will only sell on eBay very select items, but only occasionally.  

I have signed the Google petition and I will support a boycott.  F#*k eBay!
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Wendy Rousell
       
Thu Jan 31 11:45:06 2008
The fact that sellers will no longer be able to leave negative/neutral feedback for buyers is ridiculous. I have been threatened with negative feedback unless I reduce the winning bid amount or shipping fees. Where's my protection against deadbeat bidders or extortionists? Other sellers have the right to know if a particular bidder has a repeat history of being a deadbeat or extortionist! I'm seriously considering dropping my ebay account and never selling there again!
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Alex
       
Thu Jan 31 11:48:00 2008
I have over 2500+ FB 99.9 rating. I have over 3700+ pos FB given. 3 negatives and 20 neutrals and 10 mutual withdrawals. So lets just call it 33 Bad Feedback out of 3700 or just less than 1%. On all of the Bad FB I have receieved I can honestly say that it was not justified. The negatives were from buyers who claimed defective product but refused to send back for replacement or refund. They even filed paypal claims that were denied because they would not send the merchandise back. I have even refunded when I recd product back and there was nothing wrong with it as claimed by the buyer (scammer) who then copied the product and knows how the paypal dispute works in there favor 100% of the time when you return a product no matter what. I have had product returned not in the new condition that paypal claims it has to be in and they have recd full refunds. The system is totally skewed in favor of the buyer as it stands now and I agree that the scam buyers will be out in force from now on. eBay has repeatedly failed to address these issues with the UID and if they respond. Sheer stupidity. If they didnt pay it should not matter what their excuses are. What ever happened to the "by bidding you are entering into a contract" When they break that contract they should have no rights whatsoever of leaving any kind of FB. It is absurd and eBay has been told of these issues for a long time. I have had to retaliate against deadbeat buyers with negatives in order to warn other sellers. Then I get a negative with like "crappy product" when they didnt even pay or receive it. How do they know if it is a "crappy product". Total lies and provable lies yet eBay does nothing.

It is going to get so much worse and there will be new ebooks out soon on how to get everything for free by using eBay and paypal.
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: Denise
       
Thu Jan 31 12:00:01 2008
Actually, as much as it sucks, if sellers DON'T threaten to neg other sellers for listing during the boycott then the boycott isn't going to work.

Some sellers may take advantage of the reduced competition and list more, thereby defeating the whole purpose. Even if that doesn't happen, those planning to boycott may be too small a number to make much of an impact. If ALL sellers felt the threat of negative feedback for listing during that one week then we would have a much more unified front -- one that could actually pose a threat to ebay.

But it would only be fair to give an adequate warning to the sellers who list during the boycott -- well before the end of their auction

Even those who feel the urgent need to list for financial reasons would still be better off in the long run by boycotting. A no-sales week now is better than exorbitant loss of sales later.

We have to fight fire with fire. It's not an ideal solution but unfortunately it's the only way the boycott will work.
Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay   Upcoming Changes to Feedback on eBay
by: tula
       
Thu Jan 31 12:03:45 2008
I've been giving this a lot of thought and I've decided that I don't care that much about this feedback issue.  Most other internet retail sites don't rate buyers.  This is what buyers expect, so I can't really blame eBay for going this route.  I do have a bit of concern about how much they are planning to depend on seller feedback, though, since this is such a subjective thing that has potential for abuse.  eBay hasn't been terribly responsive to seller's concerns about incorrect Vero actions and buyer fraud, from what I've heard.  They don't seem to be big on customer service (to us sellers) in general.  I'm going to take a wait-and-see approach on that one.

I'm more concerned about this trend toward becoming the next Amazon.  Sure, eBay makes 80% of its money from the top 20% of sellers, and you can bet those sellers aren't offering those fun antique or niche items that have made eBay a great place to shop in the past.  From a business standpoint, I can see why they want to focus on those sellers, but I have concerns about whether this will work in the way they hope.

Edging out these small niche sellers is going to have a negative effect on the whole eBay "experience."  Why would I shop eBay instead of Amazon to get the same generic stuff? eBay has a lot more fraud than Amazon, so I probably wouldn't.  In fact, I didn't.  I didn't buy anything on eBay during this past holiday season and haven't bought anything in months.  Most of the items that I look for are no longer being offered on eBay.  Just a few years ago, I spent over $25,000 in one year buying particular vintage niche items that I enjoy.  My automated search alerts now rarely turn up more than 1 or two items a week, when there used to be dozens every day. Where have all these sellers gone?  Probably the same place I'll end up as a small niche seller myself.

eBay is making it clear who they want as a seller.  I may have 100% perfect feedback and 5 across the board on DSRs, but if I don't have humongous volume in cheap generic crap, then they don't want me around.  It's kind of sad, since it used to be a great treasure hunt, looking for those cool things you couldn't get anywhere else.  I guess I'll have to look around and see if there's anyplace else that might actually want my business, both as a buyer and as a seller.  

I probably won't participate in a boycott, since the feedback issue doesn't inspire the same level of vitriol in me as in others.  Bad buyers are a cost of doing business and all I can do is try my best to give a customer a good experience.  If that's not good enough for eBay, then I'll have to go elsewhere.  I already use other venues, since my eBay sales and sell-through have dropped dramatically in the past 2 years.  Oddly, my sales were better this  past holiday season than in the previous 2 years, so I'm still hopeful that things will improve.  I will be watching closely, though, and recommend that others diversify as well, since it's apparent that it's no longer wise to keep all one's eggs in the eBay basket.
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